Developer: Hazelight Studios
Release Date: March 23, 2018
ESRB: Mature / PEGI 18
Available Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Genre: Co-Op Action Adventure
As you may already know, A Way Out is a Co-Op only game. What does that mean exactly? The game can only be played in 2-player split-screen locally, or in 2-play split-screen online with a co-op partner (invite only). There is no matchmaking with players on the internet. You will need to ask a friend to play this game with you.
In theory, you could try it with two controllers yourself but it’s not really feasible in some sections nor is this any fun.
Personally, I played it online with my co-op partner. Server connectivity was very smooth. No lag or connection problems at any point. We played through the 3.5 hour story in one sitting.
The game is rather short but contains a ton of different gameplay styles. There are puzzle and teamwork sections, small areas to explore, car chases, driving sections, shooting sections (from car and on foot with a cover system), sneaking sections, lots of dialogue-heavy sections, and even a 2D fighting section in a hospital with takedown animations that remind of Street Fighter or Tekken.
The story serves literally every movie cliché ever. I wouldn’t say that I got bored by it, but it was too predictable 90% of the time and so darn cheesy. Sprinkle some overkill deaths and impossible last-second saves on top and you get the most average Bollywood action movie ever. What really turned it around was the ending though. No spoilers, I’ll just say the last hour of the game is by far the best. The actual shooting sections also start very late in the game on a tropical island. The third-person shooter sections reminded me somewhat of Uncharted. There’s even a cover system, you can choose between 4 weapons, cover can be destroyed by shooting it, and you can switch shoulders.
For a game that tries so many gameplay elements, each one of them is solidly made. I didn’t encounter any bugs / glitches which is rare these days.
The trophies / achievements are fun to do and super easy too. You can platinum the game in 3,5 hours as you play through the story. All trophies are optional but there’s chapter select so you can go back and get them quickly without having to replay the game. You can even help more of your friends to a quick platinum by inviting them to just the trophy-relevant levels. Even if you never played the game the host can invite you straight to the final chapter (or any other chapter). Then the final chapter will also be unlocked for you even though you never completed it yourself! If you’re a trophy hunter or achievement hunter this game is pure gold.
I must applaud Hazelight Studios & EA for putting a free trial up on PlayStation Store. Everyone can download the trial there for free, which is the full game for $0. Only the host needs to have bought the game and invite you. Then you can join and play the full game with them online without actually needing to buy it. Because it’s for free in PS Store you don’t even need a code for it, just a PSN account. That’s really cool and unheard of from EA, good to see for a change! Just to repeat and clarify: yes the free trial for $0 is the full game from start to end. The only downside is that your other partner must have bought the game and you can’t earn trophies / achievements in the trial. If you want trophies you must buy it.
For $29,99 you essentially get a free download for your friend too. That’s a good deal. I think $29,99 is the right price for this game, but no more than that given how short it is (3,5 hours with no replay value). What’s more important is that those 3,5 hours are good and overall it’s a solid game. Glad to see co-op split-screen games aren’t dead and I hope to see more of this in the future.
*Overall Enjoyment Factor, Fascination with Game World, Level Design, Variety, Playability, User-Friendliness (Ease of Use / Readability / Controls / in-game Tutorials / Menus)
A lot of variety, each section is different
*Quality of the Singleplayer Story, Cutscenes and/or Multiplayer Modes (whichever is available). If a game has no Story or no Multiplayer it won’t be rated (thus no negative effect on score).
Story: 6/10, Co-Op: 9/10
*Graphics, Texture Quality, Character Details, Lighting, Weather Effects, Animations, Loading Times, Number of Loading Screens, does it run smoothly
A bit unpolished, graphics are so-so
*Amount of Content, Production Quality, Replay Value, is there enough content to justify a purchase
Short, but agreeable for $29,99 + free friends pass
*Rates how much fun the Platinum / 1000 Gamerscore is to achieve: Are trophies fun to do? Do trophies restrict freedom of gameplay? Missable trophies? Multiple playthroughs required? Luck-based trophies? Pointless farming/grinding? Glitched Trophies? Are stats/trophies tracked correctly?
Cool miscellaneous tasks you would normally miss
|Extraordinary Score Increase or Deduction
*Reserved for extraordinarily good or bad features that the other categories don’t cover (such as game-breaking bugs). This score is directly added/subtracted from the final score.
A Way Out revives a dying breed of co-op gaming. While on the shorter side (3.5 hours total story length), it keeps things moving with new styles of gameplay at every corner. The ending is particularly good and makes it worth the trip.
Reviewed on PS4 Pro. Played version 1.00, played through it in one sitting in online co-op, unlocked platinum trophy.
A free review copy was provided by the publisher. For more on how reviews are scored, check out the Review Policy.
For more on A Way Out, check out the full Trophy Guide & Roadmap.